Many veterinary practices have a growing reliance on technology to help them deliver the best quality care for their patients and service to their clients. In fact, the majority of small- to medium-sized businesses – 80% according to a survey by the International Data Corporation (IDC) — report that their hardware is critical for day-to-day business operations.
It’s hard to imagine a veterinary practice carrying out all its essential tasks every day, without relying on computers. Visions of the waiting rooms alone invoke scenes with staff at their workstations entering patients’ histories, tracking changes, making appointments, and setting reminders. Hardware, beyond just the immediate imagery of a computer workstation alone, is as much a part of the vital infrastructure of your practice as your medical supplies. And just as many medical supplies come with a recommended shelf-life, hardware, as well, is only viable for so long before risks arise. Most notably, running older hardware in your practice causes pain for you, your staff, and your patients in terms of time lost to lagging systems and troubleshooting errors, and money lost to inefficiencies and even appointment availability. So, upgrading not only benefits your business, but also your staff and clients.
Here are some great business, staff, and client benefits that come from investing in new hardware:
- Efficiency: Faster operating speeds is one of the immediate benefits of upgrading the hardware in your practice. The latest hardware has quicker connections to servers, shorter boot-up times and more efficient memory and storage. This results in less downtime in your practice and allows routine tasks to be completed faster.
- Security: Upgrading your hardware improves security, as new operating systems are designed to protect your information and offer better protection against cyberattacks (which are becoming increasingly common among small businesses). Newer operating systems receive regular security updates while older operating systems have fewer security updates.
- Future-proofing: Newer hardware helps future-proof your practice, as it is built to be compatible with the latest software and applications. All hardware eventually reaches a point where it’s no longer supported by its manufacturer, leaving it vulnerable to security breaches and crashes.
- Cost savings: A study by market research firm, Techaisle, estimated that in a business using five computers, two older and three less than three-years-old, the business could save up to $1,500 in the first year by replacing the two older machines.
- Productivity: Updated hardware makes your team’s day-to-day tasks faster to complete. This makes them more productive and gives them greater job satisfaction. It also decreases staff turnover and helps your practice retain top talent, especially tech-savvy employees, who appreciate having high-performing technology.
- Less frustration: New hardware removes staff frustration from using older, slower systems. This is, again, especially important for tech-savvy staff members who have higher expectations of technology. If they’ve seen better technology-supported operations elsewhere, the daily grind becomes all the more grinding. They’ve seen how much easier and efficient things could be, so it’s only natural to be frustrated when what could be is no longer their reality.
- Better experience: Investing in new hardware enhances the client experience, as it removes waiting room delays and untimely, or even awkward communications caused by slow, unresponsive hardware.
- Support: New hardware is often the best choice to support the latest software. For example, a new software tool that provides patients with updates between visits, may require more data processing than hardware set up just to manage patient records based on what kind of rules there may need to be around such automated communications. Using such client communication software tools can help increase repeat business and reduce customer attrition, but such advantages are inaccessible if your hardware doesn’t support the software. Beyond the tech-specs, though, overall, the less you have to worry about the world of hardware and technology, the more you can focus on everything that’s important in your client’s world.
There are many benefits to upgrading your practice hardware, including helping grow your client base and offering the best veterinary care for your patients. Boost staff satisfaction and reduce downtime by investing in new practice hardware.